Basic Considerations Before You Build Your Businesses Web Site

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Today the Internet has come to play a major role in almost everyone’s personal and business life. But most small businesses aren’t sure how to effectively develop, market, and grow their company through the Internet. In these times, with well over 80 million users logging on either through Internet access accounts or online services, creating a presence on the Web becomes a critical decision for all businesses. Small businesses are moving online with web sites at a steady rate. In this article we will take a look at web site development and the basics you need to think about.

There are three prevalent ways that any business owner or manager can create a web presence for themselves or their business. The first way to do so is to create the web site your self.

You don’t have to be a web designer or developer to build and manage a successful Web site, and you don’t have to make a large investment. Numerous small business owners have successfully launched their own sites. A few of these smaller companies have launched for less than $500. But to do this you must become educated in the major aspects of web design. Like who you’ll you use as a web host or will you create your own server. Which scripting language’s will you use such as HTML, XML, Java, JavaScript, CGI, PHP, etc. and which of these languages is really necessary to construct your site. Some other aspects to learn is will you allow others to advertise on your site and how, will you use an affiliate program, will you offer referrals, will your site have a built in search feature, etc, etc.

The second way is to use a search engine or directory like Yahoo. For a monthly fee, many search engines and directories will design, market, and host your Web site. Based on your needs, you may choose a package that includes one or more of these services.

I use Yahoo Small Business as a reference because they offer a complete package of services for the small business owner who is serious about creating their business’s online presence. It truly is a full package. Through Yahoo Small Business you can receive Internet access, web hosting, Internet marketing, and web design. To learn more about this service and others offered you may visit them at http://sbc. smallbusiness.

The third way is to hire a Web Designer/Developer. Web design basically falls into two broad categories: basic and complex. A basic site usually includes between 5 and 15 web pages, mostly HTML, and requires very little high-tech work. Complex sites generally cost more. Normally they will require the skills of software engineers, computer programmers, and others. Besides having sophisticated features, the more expensive sites often have databases, support hubs, and other time consuming, high maintenance technologies.

When using a web designer/developer, price is normally the first thing that concerns most businesses. But it’s not as bad as most would like to believe. Some web developers charge a flat fee for design and development. Others bill by the hour. Some even do both depending on the type of site and what is required.

Ex. , Business Solutions of America offers two types of web site development packages for small business. The Basic and Business Package. Both are flat fee’s at $750 - $1250 for the design and a per hour fee on the development and monthly maintenance. This sounds like it is costly but in reality web-site development costs were less than $3,000 total on average, and the monthly fees for site maintenance averaged about $75, with very few companies spending more than $100 a month. Much like Yahoo they too also have the ability to design, market, and host your web site, offering a complete package of services for small businesses they call Identity Solutions. These packages can contain web design, logo design, print design, web hosting, marketing and maintenance to provide your business with a full service internet solution.

So should you design your site yourself or hire a professional web designer?

The benefit of doing the job your self is that you maintain control and can instantly make changes without worrying about incurring any extra costs. The disadvantage of designing the site your self is that it most likely will end up lacking in both professionalism and functionality. For many small businesses, outsourcing site design is the most valuable option. Web designers have the tools and know-how to do a great job. Just remember web design services can be costly, and the skills of designers vary greatly. No matter what you chose to do the most important part of creating your web site is the research and planning that you do before you decide to create your new site. Good Luck on your online endeavor…


Joshua M Cox, Owner and Creative Director for Business Solutions of America, has been active in the design field for over 5 years. With a background in design and business he worked his way up through the industry freelancing before launching BSA in 2001.

In addition to his own personal experience, Mr. Cox is privileged to work with an exceptional network of talented industry professionals on a project basis in the areas of photography, illustration, website coding, and multimedia development.

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